Artcrank celebrates bikes with beer and poster art: A-List 7.5-11

L-R: Aesthetic Apparatus, Ross Bruggink, Andy Lund

L-R: Aesthetic Apparatus, Ross Bruggink, Andy Lund

This week in A-List we have a pizza camping trip that should be delicious, a beer party with art and bikes, and the return of CONvergance. Come take a look.

(Image courtesy of)


Emma Willmann
Acme Comedy Co.

“I don’t want to be a gay comic,” says comedian Emma Willmann. “I’m just a comic who talks about sex and the kind of sex I have—which could be interpreted as gay, could be interpreted as a lot of things.” Indeed, onstage she does discuss coming out to her mother, advising guy friends on threesomes, and how people say she resembles Ellen DeGeneres. “It’s always frustrating that people think I’m trying to look like Ellen DeGeneres,” she tells an audience, “when clearly I’m trying to look like Nick Carter.” She gets mistaken for the talk-show host and fellow comedian at least once a day. “Usually by someone in the homeless population; I don’t get the connection there. No one ever yells out, ‘Nick Carter!’ unfortunately.” She also talks about growing up in a small town in Maine. “In the town I grew up in we had one police officer, Scott,” she recalls. “He was great guy; I loved Scott. I was confused when I moved to New York City and everyone said, ‘We hate the police.’ You hate Scott? I love that guy!” 18+. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15-$18. 708 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-338-6393. Through Saturday —P.F. Wilson

Nick Turner
Rick Bronson's House of Comedy

“Even now, there’s no other reason for breathing,” says Nick Turner of his lifetime interest in comedy. “I only wanted to make people laugh. I didn’t want to do any school work; I really had no other trajectory. Jobs never really worked out for me.” He went to George Mason University, but quit after two years when he realized he didn’t need a college degree to hang out in the back of bars for the next 15 years of his life. From there, it was off to New York. His timing was off, however. “I moved right before 9/11,” he says. “That got in the way. Things weren’t funny for a while.” After a few years of taking sketch classes at Upright Citizens Brigade, he started doing standup in 2004. He was certain he made the right move, though. “I always knew I wanted to be a comedian. There wasn’t a moment or a decision I had to make.” Among his offstage projects is his just completed Comedy Central digital series, Ya Killin' Me! Each episode finds Turner waking from a coma and getting upset by what’s going on around him. “It’s all… me getting riled up,” he explains. 18+; 21+ later shows. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 9:30 p.m. Saturday. $13-$22. 408 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington; 952-858-8558. Through Sunday –P.F. Wilson

(Matt Porath)


CONvergence 2017
Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington

Now in its 19th year, CONvergence invites enthusiastic geeks of all stripes to gather for four days of of fun. Get weird at quirky events such as the late-night sci-fi erotica reading and drinking game, or vent your issues to Joseph Scrimshaw, who will be leading a panel talk titled “Star Wars Counseling.” Play tabletop gaming (there will be Settlers of Catan!), or go high-tech and join a LAN party. The lineup of workshops, meetups, and presentations is as inclusive as it is epic, with sessions exploring cosplaying with disabilities, LGBTQ representation in utopian tales, and how to avoid tokenism in writing. There will be fan panels on a variety of topics, including Westworld, Steven’s Universe, the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, and Game of Thrones. Tickets and more info can be found at 9 a.m. to 11:55 p.m. Thursday; 7 a.m. to 11:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. $60-$120. 7800 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington; 952-835-7800. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

Hollywood’s North Star: Minnesotans in the Movies
Heights Theater

Paying tribute to our homegrown cinematic royalty, the Heights Theater is hosting Hollywood’s North Star: Minnesotans in the Movies. The five-film series begins with one of the grittiest noirs in screen history, as the Minneapolis-born Ralph Meeker defines hardboiled detective Mike Hammer as he doggedly uncovers a sinister conspiracy in Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Subverting noir expectations with homespun humanity, St. Louis Park native siblings Joel and Ethan Coen rose to the top echelon of Hollywood directors with their tawdry tale of a kidnapping gone horribly wrong, Fargo (1996). Our state can also boast of being the birthplace of Judy Garland, one of the 20th century’s greatest singers, who scored one of her greatest performances as an aspiring artist in A Star Is Born (1954). Further gravitas radiates from the aching performance of Twin Cities-raised actor Lew Ayres in his moving portrayal of a German soldier in the trenches of WWI in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). The series’ closing film signaled the transformation of a local wunderkind into a global sensation: Prince cultivated his own legend (while mythologizing the Twin Cities music scene) with Purple Rain (1984). 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. $8. 3951 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 763-789-4992. Through August 3 —Brad Richason

(L-R: Kii Arens, Biafra Inc., Boxy Mouse)


bob Show
Rogue Buddha Art Gallery

Seven artists will celebrate pop-art at Rogue Buddha this summer. Boxy Mouse—whose work features brightly colored, square-shaped creatures on stickers, framed art, and buttons—is curating the show. Kii Arens’ psychedelic gig posters were last spotted at Coachella. His work for this exhibition takes a candy-coated approach. Biafra Inc.’s train-fueled printwork is grim with just a touch of humor. Wundr’s graffiti work can be seen on railroad cars, underpasses, and sewage systems. Rounding out the lineup will be Amphetamine Reptile Records founder Thomas Hazelmyer (Haze XXL), nightmare collage creator Jeff Mathison (Math.I), and print artist Dale Flattum (TOOTH). There will be an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 7, and an artist’s talk with Boxy Mouse at 7 p.m. Friday, August 4. Free. 357 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-3889. Through August 5 —Jessica Armbruster

Louie Anderson
The Joke Joint Comedy Club

A whole new generation is discovering St. Paul native Louie Anderson thanks to his role in the critically acclaimed FX sitcom Baskets. Louis CK pulled him into that project. “He called me and said, ‘I’m working with Zach Galifianakis, and we’d like you to do a part on this show playing Zach’s mother.’ I said, ‘Yes! I’d love that.’” Anderson spoke to City Pages via phone from right outside the show’s writers’ room. “We’re just writing the episodes now for the third season. I sit with the writers and say, ‘Here’s what I’d like to do. This is what I think would be fun.’ It’s a true collaboration.” For Anderson, it’s been a wonderful opportunity. “It’s not all riding on me,” he says. “I’m playing a part, and I get to just come out and do the best possible part I can. Here’s this great project. Just try and make it a little better.” And that he has, winning an Emmy last fall for best supporting actor. Anderson, who based the role on his own mother, has an interesting approach. “I’m trying to disappear,” he says, “so you’re not focused on me.” Onstage, he’s developing his next hour of material, which will be shot sometime in 2018. 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $30-$50. 801 Sibley Memorial Highway, Lilydale; 651-330-9078. Also Saturday —P.F. Wilson

(DeAnne L. Parks)

Fledglings and Seeds
AZ Gallery

It’s a wonderful, whimsical world DeAnne L. Parks inhabits through her work, yet there’s also an undercurrent of movement, transition, and uncertainty. In “Fledglings and Seeds: Transformations and New Beginnings,” she employs ceramic sculpture and paint on canvas to create bright scenarios of magical realism. But take another look: Those fledgling birds, their heads lifted toward what’s next, sit uneasily in their boat of a nest. A heart-shaped object festooned with vines and leaves is pierced with a seedpod—or is it emerging from a cocoon? Parks was recently gentrified out of her Lowertown studio, but created a large seed sculpture representing her life and work there that finds new expression in this exhibition as well. There will be an opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 7. 308 E. Prince St. #130, St. Paul; 651-224-3757. Through July 30 —Camille LeFevre

16th Annual Dances at the Lake Festival
Lake Harriet Rose Garden

While Shakespeare in the park abounds during the summer, free outdoor dance performances are far more rare. For the past 16 years, the Dances at the Lakes Festival has showcased Twin Cities dance and beyond. Bring a blanket, snacks, and drinks, and prepare to see a variety of moves in the style of flamenco, ballet, and modern. Troupes performing include Christopher Watson Dance Company, Ray Terrill Dance Group, Freshwater Dance Collective, and Anda Flamenco. Out of state (and country) efforts will come from Marco A. Carreon (Los Angeles) and Kata Juhasz (Budapest). 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free. 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis. Also Saturday --Jessica Armbruster

Don’t Dress for Dinner
Gremlin Theatre

When Gremlin Theatre, one of the most entertaining and ambitious performance companies in the Twin Cities, vacated their former space in 2013, many fans were concerned. Even with assurances that shows would continue at rented venues, the lack of a fixed stage suggested that Gremlin could disappear at any time. Theatergoers can take heart, as the venerable company has found a new home in the renovated digs of St. Paul’s Vandalia Tower. Breaking in this new stage, Gremlin is presenting a revival of the very first play produced by the company back in 1998, Don’t Dress for Dinner. A farce by Marc Camoletti (and adapted by Robin Hawdon), the raucous work follows the increasingly convoluted scheming of a man whose plan to spend a weekend with his secret lover is complicated by the unexpected presence of his wife. Hoping to beguile his spouse, the man asks a friend to serve as cover, little suspecting that his supposed ally and his wife are having their own illicit tryst. Add in further complications involving a cook mistaken for a mistress, and absurdity is all but guaranteed. Brian Balcom directs a cast headed by Peter Christian Hansen. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, plus Monday, July 17; 3 p.m. Sundays. 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul; 651-228-7008. Through July 30 —Brad Richason

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Pizza Camp 2017
Baker Near-Wilderness Settlement

Being an adult doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy summer camp. Seriously, it’s a thing now. It’s called Pizza Camp, and it has all the amenities of summer camp: hiking, swimming, archery, canoeing, wilderness skill sessions, and sleeping in rustic cabins. Also: pizza. That’s right, you can live the adolescent dream out in the woods, but do it in style with the pizza party you’ve always wanted. There will be pizza-centric programming from the likes of Mpls Pizza Club and Grown-Up Club, who will help you brush up on your capture-the-flag skills and other activities that up happiness levels. The camp includes an overnight stay, three meals, snacks, Fulton beer, a T-shirt, and a tote bag. You can sign up as a group or an individual. Tickets and more info can be found at 21+. 9 a.m. Friday through 10:30 a.m. Sunday. $135. 4001 County Rd. 24, Maple Plain; 763-694-7856. —Sheila Regan

Artcrank MSP 2017
Fulton Brewery


Ten years ago, Artcrank combined bikes, beers, and art into one awesome party. This year, 50 prints will honor the art of biking. All of the contributing artists are local—or were at one point during the series—and include iconic artists like Adam Turman, Jennifer Davis, and Anne Ulku. Saturday night’s show will feature a retrospective of past works, including pieces from that first year. “These are the people who believed in me and the show when I didn’t know exactly what I’d started or where to take it,” says event organizer Charles Youel. “People who helped turn a crazy idea into an even crazier adventure that somehow grew to resemble a business.” At the event, posters will be for sale for $40. There will be beer from Fulton, and food from the likes of Hot Indian, MidNord Empanadas, Kramarczuk’s, Red River Kitchen, and MN Nice Cream. Biking to the party is encouraged; a free bike valet awaits you upon arrival. 4 to 10 p.m. Free. 2540 Second St. NE, Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Open Eye Figure Theatre’s 15th Annual Driveway Tour
Various locations

For the 15th summer, the mad puppeteers at Open Eye Figure Theatre are bringing their act to driveways—and yards, and parks—across the Twin Cities. This year, they’re touring three free 30-minute shows that alternate across various dates. One features a time-traveling robot that helps a boy face down a bully, a second is about a city girl who finds farm friends when technological toys fail her, and a third is about a boy whose imagination turns a cow into a boat. Program manager Peter Rusk enjoys seeing the diverse crowds the driveway performances attract. “We really get a huge range of people. You come into their homes; they’re welcoming you and they’re welcoming their community as well.” Driveway Tour stops are posted on the company’s website; you can host a show in your own ’hood if you’re willing to help do a little fundraising. If you want to see all three of this summer’s driveway shows in one go, you can hit up the July 29 Ice Cream Social at Open Eye’s home base in the Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis. For the complete schedule, visit Through August 11 —Jay Gabler

Dragon Festival 2017
Lake Phalen

A different kind of boat will be taking to Lake Phalen this weekend. Dragon boats—long canoe-like structures with colorful embellishments—will race to the beat of a drum. Cheer the boats on from land. Other cultural offerings celebrating Pan-Asian culture include karate and martial arts demonstrations, traditional dance performances, hands-on art activities for kids, and tasty eats. Enjoy live music and a sunny walking path as well. For more info, visit 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. 1400 Phalen Dr., St. Paul. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

AYA: Isabela Cruz

Isabela Cruz’s art isn’t just meant to be hung on a wall; it’s also wearable. The Minneapolis-based designer and MCAD graduate shares patterns printed on 36” x 36” silk scarves in her exhibition, “Aya,” opening Saturday at Showroom. The title of the event was inspired by an origin story from the indigenous Otavalo culture, which is known for its rich textiles. The creation legend states that Pachamama (Mother Earth) gave birth to everything in existence. Aya is the soul in every living being. Cruz then incorporated the vital elements of life—fire, water, air, earth, and spirit—into her 20 patterns. In addition to visual appeal and reverence for nature, Cruz aims to make art that is both useful and sustainable. The scarves’ colors come from water-based pigments, and are printed on vegan-friendly poly chiffon fabric. For the patterns, Cruz looked to Minnesota’s landscape and climate, both of which are vastly different from that of her hometown just outside of Quito, Ecuador. 5 to 8 p.m. Free. 615 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-345-7391. —Erica Rivera

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Dog Day Afternoon
Bent Brewstillery


This Sunday, Bent Brewstillery will offer another excuse to drink on a patio with your dog. During this “yappy hour,” you’ll be able to explore a pop-up dog market featuring canine tools and treats from Minnesota businesses. There will also be a mini dog park where your pup can play and make new friends while you enjoy a brew. Edibles for both humans and canines will be offered, and there will be freebies and giveaways as well. Noon to 6 p.m. Free. 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; 844-879-2368. —Jessica Armbruster 

Lawn Bowling
Brit’s Pub & Eating Establishment

Of all the downtown eating establishments with a sunny rooftop, Brit’s Pub makes the most interesting use of theirs. Yoga sessions are frequently scheduled, and U.K. movies screen weekly in August. There’s even an annual pole vaulting championship where guests can watch elite athletes compete for top honors. Also during the summer is Brit’s open lawn bowling. For those unfamiliar, the rules are simple: form two teams, throw bludger-sized balls (a.k.a. “bowls”) toward a jack. The team with the closest piece wins. It’s a game that takes about five minutes per round, can be played with a buzz, and requires almost no athletic ability. Leagues take to the downtown roof on weekdays, but on Saturdays and Sundays the lawn is open to whoever calls first dibs, making it a fun—and relatively cheap—activity for a date night or a casual afternoon among friends. Noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $10 per hour adults; $5 per hour kids 12 and under. 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-3908. Through September 24 —Jessica Armbruster